Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Last Witness by Glenn Meade

Title:  The Last Witness
Author:  Glenn Meade
Pages:  432
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Howard Books
When I began reading this latest work of fiction by Glenn Meade, there came a time in the novel I wasn’t so sure I wanted to read further.  However, after reading the author’s note, realizing it wasn’t just fiction but also based a nameless woman’s experience, I felt compelled to keep on turning the pages.  The farther along I got in the work, the more I had to sit back and ask myself why I never knew anything like this was happening.  I was in college at the time this story takes place, but I don’t remember the events placed on a time line shared before readers ever get to the writing.  So I asked myself, ”Why don’t I remember any of these events or the brutality of what transpired overseas in beginning of the 1990s?” While there can be multiple reasons why I don’t remember, there is one question that still stirs my heart, “Were Americans ever aware of these atrocities?”  I have no answer for that one, but what I do know is I am thankful that the nameless woman shared her story with Glenn Meade.  I am thankful that the author wrote some of the story in this book as fact and other parts are just purely fiction with no ties to actual events.
In the beginning of the story, I came across a statement that was profound:  “Because if the world never learns from the lessons of its history, then it is condemned forever to repeat the sins of the past.” (pg 6). The novel centers on the ethnic cleansing and war that took place in the Yugoslav regions of Crotia, Slovenia and Bosnia.  While at first it was hard for me to read, as I pressed on, a mystery started springing up, the action began taking off and before I knew it I was lost in the story.
What the novel shares is a story of hope and redemption beyond the darkest days, both for many citizens and a young couple in love.  However, what we are introduced to at first is a woman named Carla who is in a therapist’s office, coming to terms with her husband’s recent death and recurring nightmares.  The dreams are of a people she doesn’t know, events she doesn’t remember and so begins her journey of discovery.  Throughout the novel I was reminded that there are people who choose to love and others who choose to hate.  The choice that is made then directs the actions the person takes, and the repercussions of that choice can have negative or positive effects on people for years.
The Last Witness will stir your heart, emotions and mind perhaps in a way few fictional books have before.  It is amazing to read this historical novel that happened not too long ago in history and we would be wise to remember what happened so as not to repeat it.  I cannot recommend this book high enough.  It will stay on my shelf for years to come, and I hope you will grab a copy to read and perhaps one to share with a friend.
My rating is 5 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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